This programme is only offered in Danish.

Please note: It is not possible to apply for admission on this Master’s degree programme in 2018. The study program is merged with other Master's degree programs to the Master's degree program in Global area studies. 


Good career prospects with Japanese studies

Japan is not only a major player in world economy, but also home to some of the world’s most interesting cities and ground-breaking technological developments. In recent years, the country has also made a mark internationally as an important and innovative player in popular culture and the film industry.

The Master’s degree programme in Japanese Studies gives you skills in Japanese language, culture, history and social conditions that equip you to facilitate communication between Europe/Denmark and Japan in a wide range of areas. Whether you are interested in trade, translation, the media or culture, a Master’s degree in Japanese studies from the University of Aarhus gives you excellent career prospects.

Japan in language and culture

In the Master’s degree programme in Japanese Studies, you acquire skills in reading, writing, speaking and understanding Japanese, as well as in-depth knowledge of Japanese history, culture and social conditions. During the 2 years of your Master’s degree programme, you personally shape your degree through your choice of elective subjects and practical training, and as a result, you become equipped to work with Japan and the Japanese language in the area you choose to specialise in.


In order to be admitted to the Master’s degree programme in Japanese Studies, you must have completed a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese Studies, have a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese Studies plus an optional subject taught at upper secondary school, or have a Bachelor’s degree in a subject taught at upper secondary school plus the first part of a subsidiary subject in Japanese Studies (45 ECTS credits).


A Master’s degree in Japanese Studies counts as two years of full-time study (120 ECTS credits) and has three tracks:

  • Track A: For students with a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese studies.
  • Track B: For students with a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese studies plus an optional subject.

Admission requirements

You are certain to be admitted if you meet the admission requirements, unless you have indicated a subject with limited admission as a higher priority and are admitted to this subject.

The subsidiary subject includes a propaedeutic course – a preparatory language course for students without prior knowledge of the language in question. If you choose a subsidiary subject that includes propaedeutics, your total study period for the Bachelor’s degree is extended by six or twelve months, corresponding to the estimated duration of the propaedeutic course. You are entitled to additional SU funding for this extended period of study, for which you must remember to apply. Propaedeutics can only account for a maximum of 60 ECTS credits in your entire degree. This means that if your main subject included propaedeutics, you can only choose a subsidiary subject with propaedeutics if the total amount of credit for propaedeutics does not exceed 60 ECTS credits. You are exempt from propaedeutics if you have the required level of language skills.

Optional humanistic subjects are only offered if a sufficient number of students enrol. We therefore recommend that you indicate more than one subject on your application form, so that you are certain of admission to an optional subject, even if your first priority does not eventuate.

Click here for more information about how to apply for admission

Selection criteria

As the Master’s degree programme in Japan Studies (due to government legislation) only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA.

The admissions committee assesses each applicant’s marks on the basis of the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.


See the general documentation requirements.

Please note that applicants are NOT required to upload course descriptions.

Programme structure

Module descriptions

Japanese language: In this module, you acquire skills in reading, writing and speaking Japanese, and you practise translating complex Japanese texts into correct Danish. You also analyse Japanese texts and place them in an historical, cultural and societal context.

Japanese studies: In this module, you gain more in-depth and specialised insight into a specific area within Japanese studies, and you acquire skills in finding and working with sources in both Japanese and Western languages.

Elective subjects: This module enables you to direct your degree towards an academic area of particular interest, and to strengthen your personal competence profile. You can study elective subjects at the Department of East Asian Studies or elsewhere, or you can organise a period of practical training at a relevant workplace.

Thesis: You conclude your Master’s degree programme in Japanese studies by writing a thesis of up to 100 pages on a Japanese studies topic of your choice.

Form of teaching

In a Master’s degree programme, you work more independently than during your Bachelor’s studies, and you can largely create your own personal degree profile.

The teaching in the Master’s degree programme in Japanese studies is a combination of classroom lessons and exercises.

Academic regulations



Student life

The Student Committee: This is the students’ political body, where you can discuss everything from academic regulations to Christmas lunches and excursions. The Student Committee consists of students of Chinese, Japanese and South Asian studies, and it is a great place to meet other students. The Student Committee is also responsible for organising celebrations, Friday bars and discussion meetings about current topics, and for showing Asian films to the students.

In addition, there are many other events for students at the Faculty of Humanities and the University of Aarhus in general – e.g. lectures, intro days, career days, seminars, celebrations and sports days. Click here for more information.

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Job profile

The most common career paths for graduates of Japanese studies are:

  • Teaching: Japanese is offered as an elective subject at some upper secondary schools. Japanese is also taught at universities, at university lectures open to the public and at folk high schools, etc.
  • Organisational communication and marketing: Due to the cultural differences between Europe and Japan, advertising campaigns and information strategies are often adapted to the target country. Many graduates therefore work with communication and marketing in import/export companies or international groups of companies with branches in Denmark and Japan.
  • Administration: As a graduate of Japanese studies, you are qualified for administrative and strategic positions at embassies, in international organisations or in large companies.

If you wish to pursue a career as a researcher, you have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme at the faculty’s Graduate School. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree studies or when you have completed your Master’s degree. For more information about PhD degree programmes at the Faculty of Humanities, click here.

Competence profile

As a Japanese studies graduate, you have competences in the following areas:

  • Language: You read, speak, write and understand Japanese.
  • Culture and society: You have in-depth knowledge of Japanese culture, history and social conditions.
  • Communication: You can express yourself correctly in specific contexts, both verbally and in writing, and you also understand how to adapt a message to different target groups in intercultural contexts.
  • Structure: As a graduate, you have in-depth knowledge of the Japanese language. You also know how to define a subject relating to Japan, examine it in depth and work independently on assignments and projects.

Interdisciplinary skills and collaboration: In connection with your optional subjects and practical training, you learn to consider your academic skills from different angles and to apply them in practice.

You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.